Despite a rich cultural tradition of gender-fluidity, the transgender community in India have been stigmatised as a ‘criminal tribe’ through a colonial-era law. The community has struggled for their rights over decades, and only after significant engagement with the judiciary were they finally counted in the population Census of 2011.
The Supreme Court of India ruled in 2014 that transgender persons had the right to self-identify as male, female or a third gender. It also brought into law that the constitutional rights to life, dignity and autonomy would include the right to a person’s gender identity and sexual orientation. The government then brought in the ‘Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Act 2019 (TG Act)’, and issued the Rules in September 2020, which are used to enforce the act.
But the transgender community has seen little change, and still face discrimination in everyday life.
- Tuesday 6 September
- Jashodhara Dasgupta, Consultant Researcher, Countering Backlash Project at the Centre for Health and Social Justice
- Santosh Giri, Founder and Executive Director of the transgender organization Kolkata Rista
- A Social Anthropologist and Community Activist
- Jerker Edström, IDS Fellow and programme convenor for Countering Backlash